Discrimination - Your Rights

Types of discrimination (protected characteristics)

It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of:

  • age, 

  • gender reassignment, 

  • being married or in a civil partnership, 

  • being pregnant or on maternity leave, 

  • disability

  • race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, 

  • religion or belief, 

  • sex, 

  • sexual orientation. 

These are called protected characteristics. 

You are protected from discrimination:

  • at work, 

  • in education, 

  • as a consumer, 

  • when using public services, 

  • when buying or renting property, 

  • as a member or guest of a private club or association. 

You are legally protected from discrimination by the Equality Act 2010.

You are also protected from discrimination if: 

  • you are associated with someone who has a protected characteristic, for example a family member or friend, 

  • you have complained about discrimination or supported someone else’s claim. 

Action against discrimination 

You can do something voluntarily to help people with a protected characteristic. This is called positive action.

Taking positive action is legal if people with a protected characteristic: 

  • are at a disadvantage, 

  • have particular needs, 

  • are under-represented in an activity or type of work.